Glorifying Fringe Jewish Extremists at the NY Times

How vital is it to provide a prominent platform to religious anti-Israel Jews?

03israel_n070424The New York Times continues to go out of its way to glorify Jewish extremists who represent a minuscule portion of world Jewry, yet command high-profile media coverage. In the latest absurdity, this weekend, the New York Times ran a 1,300-word polemic entitled A Conflict of Faith: Devoted to Jewish Observance, but at Odds With Israel” about observant Jews who oppose the State of Israel.  (There’s about as many traditional Jews who oppose Israel’s existence as there are Black KKK Members, or GOP voters who support communism.)

While a rational person may question why readers of one of the world’s most circulated newspapers would have any interest in such an obscure topic, a more educated person may surmise that multiple Jewish reporters of the NY Times endorse the extreme viewpoints espoused in the article. There can be no other reason to explain such a topic being covered.

As one who travels often and has met tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews in countless synagogues across the world, I must say I have never encountered in any synagogue Jews opposed to the State of Israel.  This weekend, I attended a weekend retreat with thousands of Orthodox Jews – and while there was much debate on many issues, amazingly, not a single one voiced such a viewpoint.  Nor have I ever heard a single Orthodox Jews endorse a boycott against Israel.

Of course, as an author and contributor to multiple Jewish newspapers who travels quite often I have never seen dancing lesbian Chinese midgets, or pigs whom can fly, but indeed such things may exist. Other than the quackadoo extremists of the Neturei Karta, the positions the NY Times detail are not one which a single Orthodox, or even conservative synagogue in the world would embrace.  Think its extreme?

A person like Charles H. Manekin who says he was pleased that there was an academic boycott of Israel and is “'sympathetic' to B.D.S., as the global movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel,” is the very definition of a person whom Lenin spoke about when he said that those who work against their own people’s best interests in support of their enemies are “useful idiots.” Then there is Stefan Krieger who is proud that he “will not rise in synagogue for the traditional prayer for the state of Israel.” Kreiger’s position as a donor to the extremist New Israel Fund wasn’t detailed as he said, “I think nationalism and religion together are toxic.”

The New Israel Fund’s associate director has said she believes in 100 years Israel would be majority Arab and that the disappearance of a Jewish state would not be the tragedy that Israelis fear since it would become more democratic. Dangerous people for anyone who supports peace in the Middle East.

Then there is Rabbi Alissa Wise who works for the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which the liberal ADL describes as an anti-Israel organization and says use “its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and provide it with a greater degree of legitimacy and credibility.” ADL says the group exploits its so-called “Jewish nature,” yet their ideology is nothing but a complete rejection of Israel.” Another source is Daniel Boyarin of the University of California, Berkeley.  He is so extreme that the liberal American Jewish Committee condemned him.  In an essay entitled “"Progressive" Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism,” Alvin H. Rosenfeld says Boyarin lacks "lucid thinking" and is biased for making an analogy between the Holocaust and the Israeli government's conduct toward the Palestinians.

Harvard professor Ruth Wisse wrote, “the rapid demoralization of Jews in the face of anti-Zionism… shows the depth of the influence of the past, for many have yet to achieve the simple self-respect that has been eluding the Jews collectively since the dawn of modernity.”

Useful idiots like those quoted desire a “humanity” that will divest the Jewish people of their humanity. To oppose Israel so vehemently is simply endangering Jews. There has never been a shortage of people or groups who harm Jews – and the most effective stick for beating Israel over the head is a Jewish or Israeli stick, who are allies of Jewish enemies.